The number of people employed in the Thompson Okanagan Region decreased from 269,100 in May 2019 to 249,900 in May 2020. Simultaneously, the number of people in the labour force decreased from 284,600 in May 2019 to 276,200 in May 2020. Last month, employment rates were 53.7% in B.C. and 54.1% in Canada, while the Thompson Okanagan Region was 54.5%. The unemployment rate in the Thompson Okanagan Region increased from 9.0% in April to 9.5% in May.

Source: Statistics Canada LFS

Number of Postings by Occupation, in Kamloops

Airport Passenger Volumes

The passenger numbers for April and Year to Date, 2020 are available and as expected, are clearly showing the severe negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel sector. All current indicators call for a slow recovery starting in Q2 with moderate recovery in Q3 and Q4. Recovery will be largely dependent on travel and physical distancing restrictions, demand, and availability of disposable income for leisure travel. On a more positive note however, airlines have indicated no further reductions to service in the Kamloops market are planned and a phased reentry into the market by Air Canada Express is tentatively scheduled for mid-June.

Source: Kamloops Airport Authority

Real Estate

Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems dropped by a record 56.8% in April 2020 compared to an already weakened March, with a majority of sellers and buyers having seemingly moved off to the sidelines during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Transactions were down on a m-o-m basis across the country. Among Canada’s largest markets, sales fell by 66.2% in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), 64.4% in Montreal, 57.9% in Greater Vancouver, 54.8% in the Fraser Valley, 53.1% in Calgary, 46.6% in Edmonton, 42% in Winnipeg, 59.8% in Hamilton-Burlington and 51.5% in Ottawa.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity dropped by 57.6% on a y-o-y basis, marking the lowest April sales figure since 1984. Similar to the m-o-m changes above, declines in the biggest markets were clustered in the 55%-70% range.

Sources: Kamloops and District Real Estate Association, BC Real Estate Association, and Canadian Real Estate Association

Housing Sales across the Province May 2020

Board Avg. Price ($) Unit Sales
Kamloops 435,621 120
Greater Vancouver 1,041,380 1,506
Fraser Valley 744,322 766
Victoria 697,506 436
Chilliwack 551,719 170
Okanagan Mainline 529,590 446
Vancouver Island 541,485 417
South Okanagan 457,807 135
Kootenay 372,213 153
BC Northern 326,578 273
Powell River 295,748 23
Northern Lights 213,694 18

Housing Construction

There were 109 new housing starts in Kamloops in May 2020, which was up from the 64 starts in May 2019. The 109 housing starts represented $21,196,600 in construction value, compared to $20,748,724 in construction value for the 64 housing starts in May of the previous year.

Source: City of Kamloops; Statistics Canada

Building Permits

In May 2020, the City of Kamloops issued 28 residential building permits valued at $21,662,620, an slight increase over total permits issued in May of the previous year at a value of $21,478,904. A total of 6 commercial building permits were issued in May 2020 with a value of $1,125,000 compared to the 18 permits issued in May 2019 with a value of $9,741,000.

Source: City of Kamloops

Business Licenses

Kamloops issued 44 new business license applications in May 2020 down from the 64 from the previous year.


Business Licenses
Issued (YTD)


Residential Building Permits
Issued (YTD)


Commercial Building Permits
Issued (YTD)


Source: City of Kamloops